Given the poor state of the economy, the ANC’s determination to foist National Health Insurance on the country (Mercury, June 26) will be for the economy what the iceberg was for the Titanic.
Even if the public health system was working, which it is not, and the economy was in growth mode, which it is not, the idea of a single publicly controlled fund to purchase services for all South Africans without discrimination in both public and private health is a pipedream
Besides the obvious fact that there are simply not enough doctors and nurses to implement such a scheme, funding of what RW Johnson has called a “monster” is beyond the affordability of the revenue system. The Actuarial Society of South Africa has calculated that the annual cost of NHI would be around R300 billion.
Also militating against NHI is the inability of government departments to manage their finances. Already the vast majority of municipalities run by the ANC are bankrupt. Setting up a R300-billion a year pot for NHI would just be another looting opportunity.
The state of the National Health Service in the UK should be a warning of the burden and pitfalls that such a system has become in a developed country. Not only is the NHS the largest public sector employer in the UK with 1,4 million employees but it is chronically cash-strapped and limps along sustained by constant infusions of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.
The idea of NHI is a ploy to win votes by a party which has already proved incapable of governing but which excels at looting.
Sent to The Mercury and published, 28 June 2017.